Mind the Gap (At the Chicago School of Data Days Conference)

This post is the first in a series that take a deep dive into some of our sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to discuss some of the greatest challenges organizations face in using data. Sessions will focus on what Smart Chicago learned (through interviews, surveys, and informal discussions) from organizations that face the same challenges. The first set of sessions are going to take a look at gaps in infrastructure, affordability, and  access. 

mind the gap

One of the most talked about items in terms of feedback on challenges organizations are facing is the we’ve gotten during our surveys has been about gaps.


Overwhelmingly, we heard that organizations are unable to dedicate time to work with data given other demands, and believe that staff lack the necessary technical skills. This will be a chance to discuss the challenges faced and have speakers show how they included data skills & training in their organizational structure. We will also talk about the job titles and functions of the people who currently do the work. We want drill into exactly how, under what training, and so on.

Many nonprofits also do have staff that work specifically in technology. The NTEN survey found that the average number of technology staff members were 3.4. Event in struggling organizations, these nonprofits still managed to have 1.5 tech staff supporting about 11 people each. In contrast, leading organizations at very large nonprofits have an average of  11.8 technology staff members supporting 66 organizational staff members each.

According to the NTEN survey, the average salary for a chief information/technology officer at a small non-profit is $39,000 for small organizations and $144,807 for large organizations. Per Salary.com, the average salary is $244,579 and recent trends suggest that these positions are highly competitive. On the other end of the field, the average salary at a small nonprofit for IT support staff is about $35,416 an $43,49